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Caveat Emptor

Many so-called "invention-marketing" firms or corporations claim to do market research for inventors. Some also promise to market and patent the inventions.


While some of these organizations may offer a legitimate service, preying on the hope of inventors has been fertile ground for scam artists. The US Patent Office warns against these services.

I have received many calls from people, who have been associated with such organizations. Several people have spent over $10,000 and assigned a portion of their invention to these corporations. Still, these individuals have no patent and no market for their invention.

These corporations are not patent attorneys or agents and have no code of conduct or professional duty to their clients. "The American Intellectual Property Law Association ( has even published a brochure alerting consumers to the dangers of these entities."

A common scam is a "report" on the marketing prospects of your invention. You receive a very thick, impressive-looking "report," which is often in the form of a hardbound book. Most of the "report" includes vague, generic boilerplate text that could apply to almost any invention.

After receiving the “report,” the inventor is asked to send in several thousand dollars for construction and testing of a prototype. Later, more money will be demanded to file a provisional patent application.

Legal remedies against such organizations may be possible but you would be far wiser to avoid them from the beginning.

If you have been the victim of these corporations, you may file a complaint with the US Patent Office by filling out a Complaint Regarding Invention Promoter form.


See, e.g., Pittsburgh Tribune Review Article - Invention promoter seeks judgment reduction,, by Kim Leonard, May 12, 2006.


You might also review various websites, such as

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